A year ago, Tampa Bay's depressed construction industry hit rock bottom, shedding more construction jobs year over year than any other metro in the country.
The latest report from Associated General Contractors is decidedly more upbeat. In creating 2,100 construction jobs between January 2012 and January 2013, Tampa Bay ranked 96th best out of 339 metros, the trade group reported Friday.
Construction jobs statewide are still down 50 percent from their peak just under 700,000 in mid-2006. But the industry is showing signs of growing strength with home starts and home prices both on the rise.
Tampa Bay's unemployment rate, which peaked at 12.5 percent three years ago, had fallen to 8 percent as of January.